Earth Day crews clean up Bridgton

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BRIDGTON — Armed with gloves and plastic bags, dozens of volunteers took to the streets Thursday to pick up trash throughout the town.

Ken Murphy, coordinator of the event, estimated that about 60 people were taking part in the cleanup as part of a range of Earth Day activities. He said organizations such as the Lions Club, the Bridgton Young Professionals Organization and Bridgton Academy were taking part in the effort.

“The public works department in this town does a great job overall, but they can’t pick up every cigarette, every piece of trash that’s thrown out,” said Murphy. “It’s an ongoing battle.”

Murphy said volunteers picked up trash along the town streets and Stevens Brook, which runs through the town. The cleanup was one of several events based at the Bridgton Community Center. They included a kite-making workshop, nature walks on the Stevens Brook Trail and at Bald Pate Nature Reserve, an open house at Mo’s Electric and Solar, and work on a community garden.

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Paul Hoyt, who is a distributor for biodegradable nutrition and cleaning products manufactured by the Shaklee Corp., said he attended several Earth Day events while living in Rhode Island and that the Bridgton event was the first one he had attended since moving to Maine. He said small actions, such as recycling, can contribute to a greater positive impact on the environment.

“It’s really amazing what a difference people can make by doing little things,” he said. “Three hundred million people in the United States — if every one of them did a little thing, that’s huge.”

Mark Hatch, leader of Pack 149, said the Cub Scout troop helped with the cleanup, attended the open house and did the kite-making activity. They ended by taking a walk in nearby Pondicherry Park.

“Part of the book we go by is taking care of the Earth and the environment, and this fit in perfectly,” said Hatch.

Hatch instructed the boys on the history of the park and its features, including a set of animal tracks visible on the trail. At the end of the walk, he congratulated them on their work earlier in the day.

“You walk down Depot Street, and you can tell the difference you guys made,” he said. “And that was only a couple of hours.”

mlangeveld@sunjournal.com

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